The Cincinnati Reds get a welcome bit of news Thursday with the return of starting pitcher Homer Bailey, who's been out all season, as Mark Sheldon reports that Bailey will rejoin the Reds' rotation Thursday, with rookie Sam LeCure heading to the bullpen.
In Bailey's absence, LeCure started four games and went winless, with a 4.57 ERA. Aside from giving up four home runs in 22 innings, though, he actually pitched pretty well and should be first in line next time the Reds need a starting pitcher.
Bailey missed the middle of last season with a shoulder injury, and again it's been the shoulder limiting him this spring. But in three rehab starts with triple-A Louisville, Bailey posted a 0.54 ERA and struck out 15 while walking only four in 17 innings. So for the moment, at least, he seems healthy.
Despite Bailey's 5.09 career ERA in the majors and his 4.46 mark last season, he improved enough in 2010 to suggest he might finally deliver on the promise that once made him a first-round draft pick and the Reds' top prospect.